The Los Angeles Dodgers got a tough injury break in Tuesday night’s game against the San Diego Padres as relief pitcher Caleb Ferguson was forced to leave after facing just one hitter due to an apparent elbow injury.
He underwent an X-ray and ultrasound immediately after the game, although that didn’t show much so Ferguson was sent back to L.A. to undergo an MRI.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told Alanna Rizzo of SportsNet LA during an in-game interview that the results revealed a damaged UCL in Ferguson’s throwing elbow. “I don’t know what the plan is as far as the near future,” Roberts elaborated after the game.
“He’s got a decision to try to play with it or opt for surgery. I just don’t know enough right now.”
A UCL injury is the worst-case scenario for a pitcher as it usually leads to Tommy John surgery if it is torn. Unfortunately for Ferguson, he has already undergone one Tommy John surgery in 2014, his senior year of high school.
So if he is forced to go under the knife again then it would be his second Tommy John at the age of 24, which will require a long road to get back.
“From my understanding, unfortunately, it’s a pretty good tear,” Roberts added of Ferguson’s latest injury. “I don’t want to close the door 100%. I heard hours ago that there might be an opportunity to try to pitch through it, but I just don’t know the answer right now.”
Ferguson has been one of the Dodgers’ best relievers this season, pitching to a 2.89 ERA, 3.57 FIP and 1.02 WHIP with 27 strikeouts and just three walks in 18.2 innings across 21 appearances.
Other southpaws forced to step up in Ferguson’s absence
Left-handed relief pitching was thought to be a weakness of the Dodgers’ going into the season although has become a strength with the emergence of Ferguson, Adam Kolarek, Jake McGee and Victory Gonzalez. The latter three will now be forced to take on bigger roles with Ferguson no longer in the picture for the postseason, a possible 2021 as well.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events and more!